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MN Governor Debate Recap: Scott Jensen Dodges Questions, Touts Extreme Plans and Misleading Policies.

Conservative candidate for governor Scott Jensen fought it out with Governor Tim Walz in a debate last night. 

As expected, Jensen spent most of the night dodging questions that would reveal his extreme policy agenda and making misleading statements about his plan to ban abortion in Minnesota and slash funding for public schools. Here are three of his biggest fumbles from the evening:

Scott Jensen made false claims about his record on emergency insulin

During the debate, Scott Jensen claimed credit for lowering the cost of insulin. In reality, as a state senator, Scott Jensen sided with big pharmaceutical companies and voted against the Alec Smith Insulin Act. 

In a story published by Fox 9 news in 2019 talking about emergency insulin legislation, Jensen even admitted that Minnesota conservatives were controlled by big pharma. Jensen said, “I think the pharmaceutical industry is powerful enough that when they flex their muscles, they make it difficult for things to move forward.

Scott Jensen also carefully omitted his record of voting against legislation that would have raised $42 million from opioid manufacturers to prevent and treat opioid addiction. 

Scott Jensen dodged details about his devastating plans to gut funding for Minnesota public schools

When asked about his stance on education, Scott Jensen mumbled his way through generic statements about funding children, not institutions, while negating crucial details about his plan to slash funding for public schools.

His record on education speaks for itself: as a state senator, Scott Jensen voted to underfund Minnesota schools and reduce access to pre-K for Minnesota’s youngest learners.

And Scott Jensen voted to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest Minnesotans and big tobacco companies at the expense of our schools and health care. 

Most recently, Scott Jensen has said that public education is “a black hole” and he would put “less money” into Minnesota schools as governor.

Scott Jensen made misleading, contradictory statements about his plan to ban abortion in Minnesota

As was expected, when asked about his abortion policy, Jensen touted, “abortion isn’t on the ballot.”

Despite being caught boasting of plans to bring an extreme abortion ban to Minnesota, Scott Jensen has recently changed tactics as it’s become increasingly clear that Minnesotans are uninterested in having their right to choose compromised. 

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and abortion is slated as a leading issue, Jensen has been walking back his extreme positions, flip-flopping, and avoiding the abortion conversation at all costs.

But we’ve got the receipts, and this flip-flopping is fooling no one:

First and foremost, Scott Jensen has repeatedly said he would try to ban abortion in Minnesota. And in an interview in May 2022, Jensen confirmed that he would ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest.   

But these threats to reproductive rights are not new.

Scott Jensen has a long anti-choice record in the Minnesota Senate and supported legislation in 2017 with restrictive licensing guidelines for abortion facilities. And he voted to restrict access to abortions by defunding organizations that perform abortions and receive taxpayer funding.

Scott Jensen also received a 100% rating from an extreme anti-choice organization Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). He said on the campaign trail that he would rubberstamp their agenda and “sign anything that they [MCCL] said that we should do.”

Scott Jensen’s running mate, Matt Birk, has also said that he wants to ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest.

At a National Right to Life conference in June 2022, Matt Birk celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and compared safe, legal abortion to slavery.

In the same speech, he said, “women used to not be able to vote, now we let them drive,” and said that he doesn’t believe that rape victims should get able to get an abortion. 

Matt Birk has promised that he and Scott Jensen would work to pass laws that ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. 

And Scott Jensen’s extreme stance on abortion is at odds with the sixty percent of Minnesotans who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases and who oppose new severe restrictions on abortion.

Scott Jensen needs to be held accountable

Scott Jensen thinks he can talk himself out of answering for his extreme and out-of-touch agenda. It’s more important than ever that we work together to hold Scott Jensen accountable for his harmful, anti-choice plans.

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